By Lenny Sementi
Tuscola’s girls’ basketball team utilized both ends of the spectrum as the Warriors attacked inside and out offensively. Coach Tim Kohlbecker not only leaned on his starters but also his bench as they wore down a feisty Arcola squad in the second half, beating the Riders Monday, Dec. 3 in the 2018 version of the Cola Wars 52-36.
Freshman Sophie Kremitzki did yeoman work in the low post en-route to a career high 11 points, while senior Ashton Smith did most of her damage outside the arc scoring nine points thanks to a 3 for 3 effort from three-point land. Senior Natalie Bates was tops in the rebound department corralling five boards, while second-year player Brynn Tabeling led the way in assists with a game high four.
Tuscola was good on 52 percent of their shots from the field and was even better from long range hitting 5 of 9 threes for a 55 percent average. Kremitzki was near perfect with a 5-for-6 effort from the floor and connected on her only attempt from outside the arc.
The first year player got the ball rolling by scoring on a short jumper with just 20 ticks off the clock to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead they would never give up. Senior Lexie Russo found her way to the free throw line on consecutive trips down the floor sinking 3 of 4 from the charity stripe as the Riders came out aggressive on the defensive end. The big difference early were three’s by Smith with a minute left in the first and buzzer beater by Tabeling that gave Tuscola a five-point advantage at the first break.
Kremitzki hit her three early in the second frame and finished off a feed from Tabeling late that put Coach K’s crew up by seven at the half. In between the frosh’s buckets were a pair of runners from Russo as the senior donated nine points to the cause all in the first 16 minutes of action. Her sister Marissa came up big in the third finishing off a feed from Tabeling as the two teams traded points until a 7-2 run helped the ladies in black to a double digit lead up 41-30 entering the final stanza.
Smith fired the last two daggers with back-to-back threes early in the fourth allowing Kohlbecker to keep throwing fresh bodies off the bench at a tiring Rider team. Junior Lainey Banta ended the scoring with a 10-footer at the 30-second mark as the Warriors moved to 4-3 overall with the non-conference victory.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Dec. 12 edition of The Tuscola Journal.